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Diary 2013 July

 

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1 July

   
Today we had a day out to the seaside at Hastings. All along our route people were selling cherries by the roadside. I like the last picture as it reminds me of the birds in my garden. They like my cotoneaster berries later in the year, but in summer the pigeons, blackbirds and starling eat the cherries off my neighbour's tree, clearing the tree of fruit very quickly.

 
I am very glad to have a picture at last of these butterfly patterns on a concrete wall. We parked at the top of West Hill. There are lots of steep steps to get down to the town.


On the way down I was delighted to see this barrier outside a town building site with lots of pigeons. Something has made them all fly up. The painter has done a really good job of getting all the shades of grey that makes pigeons so interesting.

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We looked round the old town. This shop was selling amusing signs and these two are my favourites. We are always ready for dinner in our house, so we never "Leave it"! 

 
Pie and Mash is very traditional in England, especially if the weather is cold. The sweets looked very inviting but not good for the teeth. I think they are better admired than eaten.

 
This is the Winkle Club sculpture. I am just wondering if someone comes out and polishes it regularly, especially with so many messy seagulls around. The red in the closeup is a reflection of a red shopping bag. Everywhere you look on the sculpture there are interesting sea creatures, shells, stones, ropes and shapes.

 
I always enjoy the handwritten posters that shops have. You can almost hear the music in this one. As we passed the car park, I notice a shark swimming along a car roof, or maybe it was just an aerial fitment without the aerial! 

 
More seafront signs. I am always interested in the different lettering that they use.

 
A picture always helps to catch your eye on a sign. This fish on the side of a fisherman's shed is a real work of art and I think if it was raining it would look even more real, as if it was about to swim away back into the sea.

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There were loads of seagulls all gathered on the rocky outcrop near the seashore. They were picking something off the rocks, maybe limpets or barnacles. The nearby sign gave the names of the all the types of seabird.

 
This is the side of the beach, with a drop on the left, and stony beach on the right. The second picture is the view backwards. It was a long way in both directions and the wind was blowing hard. I was glad to back to the town part and out of the gusty wind.

 
This model is outside the Royal National Lifeboat Association building. It is from a department store or fashion shop, as it is a beautiful lady, and not some weatherbeaten sailor. This is a noticeboard telling the story of the town, showing the bathing machines that were used a long time ago. The water looks very rough and I think they were getting rather cold in the water.

 
The miniature railway came out of its shed, but there were no customers around, as it was still morning. This game in the playground makes swirly patterns when you twist it round.

 
This seagull is finding the last fragments of food in a crab shell. The second seagull spent a long time walking up and down the railing outside the door where people were processing fish. Every now and then it was tearing at the rope in frustration, as it really wanted to go in the door where the fish was. It gave up in the end and flew away.

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The boating lake was a beautiful shade of blue and we found out why when we got a bit closer.

 
The water has been dyed blue and when the seagulls were bathing, the water showed up blue against their white feathers. Even the floating feathers had a blue tinge.


This is the East Hill cliff railway. There are seats along the steps so people can rest. 

 
I like this bit of cliff where they keep mending it with brick facing to make it safe. It looks like a patchwork blanket. The flowers must have blown in as seeds.

 
We had a look in the arcades. This penny push game has dragons all round. The arcade carpet was interesting, but makes it difficult for children to find dropped coins!


This is a very seasidey balcony, as the shapes look like flying seagulls.

 
We had some doughnuts before we went home. This seagull got quite a few pieces, but we made sure that we got to eat the jammy bits!

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4 July


As it was a hot and sunny day, we sat in the garden for a bit. While the mittens were being knitted, I got to play with the Ipod where I can watch short videos that I have made of my days out.

7 July

  
Time to check the apple trees. Not much this year, but the new Lord Lambourne has about four apples on it. The pear tree is doing very well, unlike last year when they all mysteriously disappeared.


I don't think this bird box at the end of the garden has ever been nested in. Today I found lots of bees going in and out, so at least someone is making use of it.

9 July


We went to Coolings Garden Centre. This is my favourite part, water spouts inside big pots. They seem to look a bit like candles. The sound of gurgling water was very welcome on such a hot day.

 
I think these may be globes for water fountains. I really like these stone pots, they remind me of sand on a beach that has just been washed by the tide.

11 July

 
The lower pond in Priory Park is now full of blanket weed, and there are lots of trails and streaks where the ducks have paddled through. Here is the wagtail that we sometimes spot along the edge. I call him a Yellow wagtail, but I suspect his real title is Grey wagtail. It seems a shame not to mention the yellow!

13 July

 
He is one of the culprits, a young starling stripping my neighbour's tree of its cherries. There was a whole flock all squawking and fighting over the reddest cherries. Afterwards they all came down and had a bath in my garden. It was a good job we were sitting very still with the camera handy when they came, and they were so busy they didn't notice we were sitting there.

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14 July


This is a huge flock of crows going over my house, all cawing way up in the sky.

15 July

 
These are my favourite parts of the River Cray, where it is clean and clear, with bright green weed.

17 July

 
A good day for getting photos of insects. The butterfly reminds me of white and brown chocolate.

20 July

 
Our friends brought back some luxury cookies from New York. Dino really enjoyed them and as usual he had to check the bag several times to make sure there were no more hiding at the back.


After the cookies we enjoyed some soft ice cream. I think next time I will crumble the cookies onto the top of the ice cream.

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26 July

 
The parks department people have put some straw bales into the water for the coots to sit on. I suspect the straw will get a bit soggy and start to sink after a while, although I think some of it was put in crates to keep it all together. At least the coots are happy for the time being. Quite often the gardeners leave branches and logs in the water for the ducks to sit on.

 
Two unusual birds today in the park. The first is a young ornamental duck, which we don't see very often. The collared dove is not unusual, but it is rare for them to be walking around where there are people. The attraction of the food crumbs had made him a bit bolder than normal.

 
The bedding is always very traditional, with bold colour and shapes. They change it quite often, and I don't think they do anything twice the same in the formal beds.

27 July

 
This tiny froglet got blown out of the grass by the lawnmower. He was a bit surprised and I am glad someone had very good eyes to spot him. He should not have been out in the grass on a hot day. He was taken to the pond where he climbed away into the shady damp corner.

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28 July

 
We saw this tiny newt on a damp footpath in the boot sale field. I am very glad that he soon went off into the safety of the long grass.

 
More wildlife further along, a white butterfly and a blue dragonfly. It is a very good place for wildflowers as everything is allowed to grow naturally.


This is Pedham Place field with the very high grasses and big open skies and the pylons marching along in the distance. The grass sometimes grows as tall as a person.

29 July

 
We decided our fish needed more oxygen into the water so we got an air pump, but I call it a Bubbler. There are two air balls on the ends of the tubes, and we have the pump on the kitchen window sill. It does buzz and vibrate, but the very soft rubber feet make sure it doesn't move around.


The fish also like it when the water needs filling up a bit more. They swim round and round in excitement, although they do get a bit bored with it after a while.


With all the hot dry weather we have had, I felt I could not waste these old ice cubes. It is a good way of watering a plant without flooding it, as it all soaks it gradually. It took about an hour for them to disappear completely.

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